[This post first appeared as one of my columns on www.multiplesclerosisnewstoday.com]
You don’t see people with disabilities very often in TV ads. And when you do, the person with the handicap is usually playing a secondary role, or the ad uses the disabled person for an emotional appeal. It’s not real-life. It’s not us.
So, a tip of my hat to the candy company Mars Chocolate UK for producing some ads for its Maltesers candy that “get” us gimps. (And thanks to blogger Maayan Ziv for highlighting them in her blog on http://www.accessnow.me. The ads had me laughing out loud while making the point that a disability doesn’t, necessarily, disable a sense of humor. WARNING: The first of these videos is a little, shall we say, “suggestive.” Also, if you’re not a speaker of the Queen’s English you may have to watch and listen twice to capture it all. Here ya go. Enjoy:
Mars Chocolate UK teamed with the non-profit group “Scope: About Disability” to produce those two ads. A Scope slogan is: “End the Awkward,” and one of the ways they’re working to do that is through videos.
Here’s the story of how the Maltesers ads came about:
Says Michele Oliver, the VP of Marketing for Mars Chocolate UK, “As one of the UK’s biggest advertisers, we have a responsibility and a role to play in reflecting diversity in everyday media. This is a first step for us, and with a fifth of the UK population living with a disability, and the nation focused on this great sporting event (the Paralympics), this is the right time to join the conversation.”
Wouldn’t it be nice to see ads like these, including people with disabilities and produced by people who “get” it, running outside of the UK? Wouldn’t it be nice for more companies to do what Mars Chocolate UK has done to help “end the awkward?”